RCRG - Blog - From Theory to Practice
Did you know?
More than 100 young leaders have graduated from the Youth Now program.
Each year, over 100 non-profit professionals attend our training opportunities.
Over two dozen non-profit organizations have participated in the Youth Now program.
The CCRR provides nearly 400 child care referrals per year.
On average, the CCRR hosts 30 workshops and training courses each year.
Every year, over 500 child care providers and parents attend CCRR training opportunities.
Every year, RCRG completes over 3,000 grocery orders for local seniors.
Nearly 300 seniors make use of our Better at Home services.
Our volunteer drivers complete more than 1,200 trips annually.
At least 350 people per year find a volunteer position using our Volunteer Match program.
Close to 500 volunteers support RCRG’s programs and services.
Volunteers contribute nearly 23,000 hours to our organization each year.
Each holiday season, the Richmond Christmas Fund helps more than 2,200 low-income residents.
Every year, the Christmas Fund provides over 600 children with toys, books, and sports equipment.
The Richmond Christmas Fund was first started by Ethel Tibbits, in the 1930s.
The number of Neighbourhood Small Grants we’ve awarded has increased every year since 2014.
Block parties are the most popular type of Neighbourhood Small Grant project.
Every year, the Richmond Women’s Resource Centre serves over 7,300 local women.
The Richmond Women’s Resource Centre currently offers 16 programs and services.
Nearly 60 volunteers support the Richmond Women’s Resource Centre, contributing nearly 2,500 hours per year.
Richmond is home to over 350 registered charities, all of which rely on volunteer support.
There are nearly 13 million volunteers across Canada.
International Volunteer Day is celebrated throughout the world on December 5.
There are 35 volunteer centres in British Columbia.
In 2016, the Foundation awarded 10 grants to non-profit organizations, worth a combined $59,000.
The Foundation manages $4.5 million in nearly 50 Forever Funds, returning CPI plus 4%.
In 2017, the Foundation distributed $198,000 as community and Canada 150 grants, scholarships, and charitable disbursements.
Foundation activities result in the enhancement of our community and residents’ sense of belonging.
ROCA has raised over $21,000 for local charities.
ROCA has performed its Elementary School Concert Series to over 8,000 students.
ROCA provides mentoring and life changing opportunities for aspiring musicians.
The Richmond Arts Coalition was founded in November of 2005.
RAC co-produces the ArtRich exhibition every two years!
RAC highlights Richmond's arts events in a monthly email.
The Richmond Music School is the oldest not-for-profit music school in Richmond.
The Richmond Music School offers affordable music lessons through its diverse programming.
Our students performed 40 hours of music to welcome the Olympic athletes to the 2010 Olympic Games.
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RCRG Blog

From Theory to Practice

Published August 19, 2019

We recently bid a bittersweet farewell to our two summer co-op students, Clara Tang and Olivia Dong. Bitter because we're sad to see them go, as both had a huge impact during their short time at RCRG. Sweet because they're returning to school, hopefully with a few new skills and a broader perspective that will come in handy as they pursue their studies.

Clara already wrote about her experience at RCRG, so now it's Olivia's turn.

Seemingly seconds after she arrived, Olivia became an indispensable member of our Seniors Community Support Services department. She spent much of her summer coordinating rides for local seniors, ensuring there was a volunteer driver who could take them to a medical appointment or community activity. 

When not doing that, Olivia was supporting our grocery shopping service, taking orders from seniors over the phone, and sometimes even doing the shopping herself.

The age gap between Olivia and the clients she helped was often five decades or more. That she was able to put herself in their shoes and empathize with their challenges speaks to Olivia's maturity. She didn't just serve seniors; she found a way to relate to them.

This summer, I had the incredible opportunity to work as a Seniors Community Support Services Program Assistant at RCRG, through UBC Arts Co-op.

I am a BA student studying Psychology, and this position was perfect for applying theories I have learned to real life. There is so much more I will take away from RCRG beyond just transferable skills.

By far, the best thing about working here is the people. I was instantly welcomed by the entire team, especially the Seniors Department. From my first day I felt valued and respected, even though I was just a summer student.

I think as students, and even as adults, we are so caught up in our own lives that we forget to think about other populations. The Senior population is one that is overlooked, but large, and growing; I had no idea there were over 30,000 seniors in Richmond!

This summer I got the chance to step outside of my own world and focus on helping people with real and urgent issues such as chronic medical conditions, immobility, and poor mental health. I learned that there is so much I take for granted as a young person, and that there are many challenges when it comes to aging.

Keeping a healthy mind and body comes with its challenges as you get older, and RCRG tries to target this with grocery shopping services, volunteer friendly visiting to improve mental health, and volunteer drivers to help get those who cannot drive to medical appointments.

One thing I took away from my time here which relates to my field is the importance of mental health, for all ages. Mental health can be an issue for seniors because they are often dealing with loss – loss of mobility, loss of a loved one, loss of independence.

Anyone who provides support for a senior needs to be cared for as well, and I really enjoyed being part of the Relax, Recharge, Reset Caregiver Workshop Series this summer. RCRG provided fun, stress-relieving workshops – on topics like knitting, meditation, and even yoga – to help caregivers unwind and meet other caregivers in the community. Attending these workshops and meeting the people involved showed me the reality of aging and the importance of having support.

Through client interaction, I have learned that it is important to treat people, especially seniors, with the utmost care and respect as you never know what they may be going through. That being said, many seniors that I worked with this summer had a positive outlook on life, no matter what they were facing.

Clients were extremely grateful for rides to crucial medical appointments, or to receive their grocery order exactly how they wanted it. Making a difference in their daily lives was an extremely rewarding experience and I am so grateful for this opportunity!

Photo Caption: Clara Tang and Olivia Dong (right) at RCRG's Annual General Meeting, on June 19.